I spent a decade working at Regis, but it was never just a job. Regis became my family, a family that would support me through the hardest times of my life.
When my husband Steve and I lost our son, TJ, Father Michael Sheeran, S.J., guided us as a close friend through the emotional and spiritual tumult. I truly do not know if I could have gotten through it all without the love and care of the Regis community. They gave me hope when I could see none.
Years later when I was in the hospital after a surgery, Regis came back into our lives in the form of the nurses who treated me; they didn’t just administer medicine, they put their faith into their work. Regis has kept us going, and we want to keep it thriving.
We started the TJ Myrick Memorial Endowed Scholarship in honor of our late son so the Regis family can continue to grow and care for communities and individuals around the world. I always dreamed of being a nurse, but an injury stopped me short. Now our scholarship helps more Regis nurses give the same high quality care I received. We keep giving to Regis because Regis has never stopped giving to us.
A Family's Love
To honor their son, Pam and Steve Myrick established a scholarship to support future generations of caregivers.
TJ Myrick’s time on Earth was much too short: A bright-eyed boy with a big smile, he passed away just thirteen days after his first birthday, in 1985. The loss forever changed the lives of his parents, Pam and Steve. Yet even in the shadow of their loss and grief, the couple have found a profound way to honor their son’s life while creating opportunities in the lives of others.
In 2013, when TJ would have been 28, Pam and Steve established the TJ Myrick Memorial Endowed Scholarship, an endowed fund that provides tuition assistance to exceptional juniors and seniors in the Loretto Heights School of Nursing at Regis University. To date, the Myricks have awarded scholarships to nine future nurses. Their goal is to award two scholarships of $10,000 each year, starting in 2027.
“This scholarship at Regis has added a dimension of purpose to the way that we honor TJ,” says Pam. “He was our only child. We were so fortunate that we were able to start this endowment, and we’ve been very dedicated to it. These scholarships are a way to keep our son alive.”
Regis is close to the Myricks’ hearts, due to the compassion and care they experienced within the community during the most difficult times of their lives. Pam worked for the University for nearly 10 years, serving in various roles throughout the 80s. During that time, she befriended Father Michael J. Sheeran, S.J., who then served as a vice president. When the family lost TJ, Fr. Sheeran consoled and comforted them. He even led their son’s funeral service.
Today, they maintain close ties to the University, particularly those who have benefited from their scholarship. They take the recipients and their families out to lunch, send Christmas cards, keep up with their lives as they build careers and families.
“We’ve met so many wonderful people through Regis,” says Steve. “Especially the nursing students and their parents. We take an active role in supporting them; we really care about them.”
Chloe Weigum, the first student to receive the TJ Myrick Memorial Endowed Scholarship, says support from the Myricks allowed her to focus on what she needed to learn – rather than how to pay for it.
“Being able to go through the nursing program at Regis with this scholarship has made it so much easier to focus my time on becoming the best nurse I can, instead of focusing on how I’m going to achieve that financially,” she says. “It’s all thanks to the scholarship and to Pam and Steve Myrick. I’m so grateful for them and the opportunity they have given me.”
Pam herself once studied to be a nurse. Though an injury set that dream off course, her early instinct for caring for others has carried throughout her life. That’s part of why it’s so personally meaningful to support others who experience the same calling.
“I always wanted to be a nurse, since I was a little girl,” she says. “I’m a natural caretaker and a caregiver. I always took care of every injured animal. Anything fur, four legs and a tail, I would bring it home. It was my dream; it was just in my DNA. I think that’s how it is for people who are drawn to nursing. They have an ability to detect and get involved with the care of loved ones. That’s very special.”
To date, the Myricks have contributed nearly $250,000 towards the TJ Myrick Memorial Endowed Scholarship. Like all endowed scholarships, the scholarship is designed to grow over time and be sustained in perpetuity, fueled by returns on investments made by generous donors. To amplify the impact of their scholarship, the Myricks make generous annual contributions that can be distributed as scholarships almost immediately.
Through their philanthropy, the Myricks have helped address the nationwide nursing shortage, which is expected to intensify as the population ages and many veteran nurses retire. Pam and Steve take pride in supporting the field through their support of exceptional students in the Loretto Heights School of Nursing, which is part of the Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions at Regis.
“Any time we’re in a hospital, Pam always talks to the nurses,” says Steve. “She can pick out a Regis nurse right away. They’re always a cut above. They’re confident, they know how to pus you at ease. They know what they’re doing, and they’re not afraid to do their job.”
“Nurses that graduate from Regis walk away with a certain clout,” says Pam. “For them, it’s about taking care of the whole person.
“Every time we see the nurses we’ve supported, it reminds us of TJ,” she continues. “It seems strange to say, but his death has given so much. His little life was able to start something very powerful, and I thank him for that.”